Volume. XXV, No. 8
Sunday, 22 August 2010

Exaltation of the Son (Part II)

We have considered and explored some theological truths pertaining to exalting the Son of God in our lives. We learned that Scripture says that Christ is the eternal Son of God and the Creator and sustainer of the Universe based on verses 15-17 of chapter one of Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Colossian Church. In this article, we shall continue to ponder upon some more theological implications of exalting the Son of God in Christian lives in various levels.

Submit to the Son as the Supreme Head of the Church
Having addressed to the readers of the paramount importance of exalting Christ as the eternal God and the sovereign creator, Apostle Paul continues in verse 18 turning the application on the ecclesiastical level, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” This wonderful verse reveals two important aspects concerning the Person of Christ. First, it reveals that Christ is “the Head of the body, the Church” (v.18a). Second, that He is the “First Born from the Dead” (v.18b). Let us consider the first half of this verse.
The Scriptures is crystal clear that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity and the eternal Son of God alone is the head of his body, the church – not man or any ecclesiastical or institutional figure arbitrarily established by man. This truth tells us that Roman Pontiffs who audaciously claim to be the Vicar of Christ over the centuries is an unsubstantiated claim that holds no water. And whosoever claims that he is worthy of worship is but an antichrist (1 John 2:18, 2 John 1:7). Having been astonished by the spectacular miracles performed by Paul (Acts 14:8-10), the Lycaonian heathens cried out to Paul and Barnabas, “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men,” and desired to worship them (Acts14:11-14). In much distress and disappointment, they rent their clothes and reply with utter desperation, “…Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.” (Acts 14:15) It is clear that the true servants of God would not steal any honour or glory that is due to Him alone. The LORD said, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isa 42:8) Likewise, bishops of the church (ie. pastors and elders) are nothing but undershepherds of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:17) who oversee the flocks on behalf of the Head of the Church, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep (Heb 13:20). Therefore, Jesus Christ deserves all the glory, honor and praise as the Supreme Head of His body, the church—not man. 
Apostle Paul also said that Jesus Christ is the “First Born from the Dead” (v.18b). How does this seemingly profound theological truth help Christians in their walk with the Lord whom they should exalt in their daily lives? As already mentioned, the Scriptures clearly indicate that Christ is eternally begotten of the Father. This phrase and such similar ideas are also reinforced in Rom 8:29, Heb 1:6, Rev 1:5 and other Scriptural passages. Unfortunately, many Christian cults, particularly “Jehovah Witnesses,” have attempted to “prove” Christ as a creation of God the Father rather than the eternal Creator with aforementioned texts and few other passages by their totally unorthodox and out-of-text interpretations. With regard to this title of Christ, “the First born from the dead,” Professor Lightfoot comments, “…in no way indicates that Jesus is less than God. In fact, the ancient Rabbis called Yawhew Himself ‘Firstborn of the World’ (Rabbi Bechai, cited in Lightfoot). Christians today must not be deceived by any messenger of Satan and be lured into believing that our blessed Saviour, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity is less than God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. We worship Christ because He is worthy of our worship! As every redeemed of God shall sing, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev 5:12) May this be part of our daily prayer.     
Adore the Son in whom the Fullness of God and Man dwells (v.19)
Besides the fact that we are to submit to Christ as the supreme head of the Church, Apostle Paul also said that “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (v.19). What does this verse tell us about our exalted Christ? Note that though the phrase “the father” (v.19a) was supplied by the KJV translators as italics, it is surely fitly added for clarification purpose. What is the ‘fullness’ that Apostle is referring to? The context in verses 15 through 18 tells us that the “Son is the Creator,” “the Sustainer,”“the Head of the church,” and “the First-born,” and then Apostle tells us that ‘in HIM all fullness dwell’. Also note that the following verse (verse 20) tells us that it was through Christ’s blood that He reconciled all things, and this includes His elect. With the context in view, Christ’s fullness here must have something to do with what is said before and after verse 19. The ‘fullness of Christ,’ therefore, resonates with the fact that Christ in his Almighty Power, Infinite Wisdom, Abundant Grace, Sovereign Authority that is “full” or “inexhaustible” has redeemed His chosen people as the Creator, Saviour and Redeemer! That fullness, thus, is the fullness of His human nature (1 Tim 3:16) and divine nature (Col 2:9) who qualifies Him to be the Saviour of all mankind!  
Embrace the Son as the Mediator between God and Man (v.20)  
Lastly, Apostle Paul also tells us that Christ is the only mediator between God and all things. Apostle Paul wrote, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Col 1:20) The eternal Son of God has paid a price to appease the wrath of God the Father by His own blood. And by His blood all things are reconciled unto Himself.
What did Paul mean when he said, “all things” have been reconciled by Christ? Three points must be made clear before we can understand this verse better. First, the “all things”relate only to those things which are in heaven and earth or for only what are specified by the Apostle Paul. Nothing is said of the inhabitants of hell, whether fallen angels, or the spirits of wicked men who are there or will be there. Second, it cannot mean that “all things” including the creations have actually been reconciled, at least yet. One day all creations will be restored to the pre-curse state during the Millennium reign of Christ, but this has not happened (Isa 11:6-10; 65:20-25). Apostle Paul said that the creation has been groaning and anticipating for that day to come: “22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Rom 8:22,23). Third, it can only mean then that he had executed a plan that was adapted to this. If fairly and properly applied, the blood of the cross was fitted to secure entire reconciliation between heaven and earth.
What does it mean to us as Christians? This means that we are His redeemed people and belong to Him because Christ has reconciled us with the Father as the mediator by His blood. 1 Tim 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Since it is Christ who has reconciled us with the Father with His blood, this also means that we are a people who belong to Him. 1Cor 7:23 says, “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” On the ecclesiastical level, it suggests that God requires us to serve Him because we are His servants—this, however, is not an option but a mandate. On the spiritual level, it suggests that we are forbidden to serve sin or ourselves according to our fleshly desire as Apostle Paul explains in Romans 6. The fact that Christ is the only mediator should also prompt us to have a burden in reaching to the lost – our non-Christian family, loved ones and friends who still do not know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
In Conclusion:
May we exalt the Son who is the eternal God, the sovereign Creator and the sustainer of the universe! May we submit to the Son who is the supreme head of the church and know that He is the first born from the dead who is worthy of our worship! May we adore the Son in whom the fullness of God dwells and embrace Him as the only mediator between God and man!
Ps Weng

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Phil Surman. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Sis Suzanne Lim.
*Elected to the 6th Session at yesterday’s ACM: Rev Okman Ki, Ps David Weng, & Elder Michael D Lee; Deacons Edwin D’Mello, Tony Law, Yaw Chiew Tan & David Yeo; Bros Chris Budiman, Colin Gan & Wai Kin Wong; Sisters Joyce Gong & Purdee Yeo.
*There is no BBK & Church History Class next Lord’s Day.
*Holy Baptism has been put forward to next Lord’s Day. Candidates for Holy Baptism: Joash Ng, Joshua Weng & Stephen Wong.
*Fellowship Lunch after next Lord’s Day Worship Service is $5 per person. Free for children under 5 years old.
*Bookshop Sale - 50% off all items until 5 Sept.
Looking Ahead
*Gospel Sunday, 12 Sept, at 7.30pm.
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Bro Nathaniel & Sis Eileen Lim & family (Melb); Bros Raymond Chia & Wai Kin Wong (S’pore); Sisters Lai Kheng & Marion Chan (Syd/Adl), & Peng Ha Yeo (Syd); & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. Daily mercies, protection & guidance.
4. Much needed rain in the past few days.
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Dr SH Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao (Melb), Len & Richard Pearson, & Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. Healing & health - Bro Winston Selvanayagam. Strength for Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam.
3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province).
4. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & his ministry.
5. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman & Board.
6. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond).
7. Ps & Sis Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
8. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
9. Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); Bro Nathaniel & Sis Eileen Lim & family (Tas/NY); Sisters Lai Kheng (KL) & Marion Chan (Myazaki); Vanessa Tan (S’pore); Peng Ha Yeo (Adl); & all others who are travelling.
10. Job - Sisters Judy Li & Corinne Teng.
11. Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Myra Hornung & Demelza Ting. 
12. Interpreters translating English Sermons to Mandarin.
13. Year 12 Students: Sisters Gillian Chia & Shilsha Ninian.
14. Work placement in Myazaki, Japan, from Sept 2010: Sis Marion Chan.
15. Ordination of New Deacons & Installation of 6th Session.
16. Candidates for Holy Baptism & their parents.
17. Believers under persecution in Islamic countries.
18. Victims of floods in Pakistan, & mudslides in China. Those who lost their loved ones.



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